DHET to make changes to NSFAS Funded Student Accomodation

DHET to make changes to NSFAS Funded Student Accomodation

In todays latest NSFAS News – Bursary-funded student accommodation continues to grow in demand due to an influx of new NSFAS-funded students in tertiary institutions across the country. The Department of Higher Education (DHET) has said that they intend to make changes for this cohort of students.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has said that they will take a proactive approach in NSFAS-accredited student residences starting in 2023 to ensure value for money by standardising the price and quality by grading student housing and paying a standard rate based on the grading of each type of accommodation.

According to Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, it is evident from multiple engagements with students, student leadership organisations, schools, and student accommodation providers that finding adequate student housing is still a significant challenge.

He added that this holds true for both privately owned student accommodation and student residences owned by institutions. The minister went on to say that the development of additional infrastructure for housing students continues to be a government priority, and he plans to fast-track this process, particularly by forming alliances with the private sector.

The average university residence accommodation cost per student increased from R33 950 in 2020 to R41 714 in 2022 per annum. For TVET colleges, application of accommodation caps stabilised average accommodation cost to an estimated R24 125 in 2022″ Said Minister Blade Nzimande.

In addition to this, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) spent an average of R11.9 billion annually on support for student housing accommodation over the past two years (2020 and 2021).

The minister also pointed out that, each year, there are at least 420 000 students living in TVET and university residences. Out of this, roughly 43% went toward institutional housing and 57% went toward private housing.